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The Influence of Courts on Public Opinion in China: Evidence from a Survey Experiment


139 MacDougal Street, Wilf Hall
5th Floor, Room 512
New York, NY, 10012


Ms. Li will present her research on the ability of courts to foster popular support for national policies in China. Through a survey experiment fielded to 806 university students in China, Li will present her (and co-author Benjamin Chen's) findings that while courts can occasionally be more effective than non-institutional actors in bringing about attitudinal change, administrative agencies are at least as persuasive as the courts.  This finding has broad implications for our understanding of legitimation in the Chinese state, and the potential for judicially initiated change in China. 


About Zhiyu Li


Prior to joining NYU as a Post-Doctoral Fellow, Zhiyu Li received her JSD from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as a teaching assistant for the Legal Research and Writing course. Her primary research interests are in legislation and statutory interpretation, administrative law, judicial decision-making, and comparative law. Her scholarly work has appeared in U.S. and international journals, including the Washington International Law Journal and the Review of Law & Economics. Her co-authored article on the positive political theory of comparative administrative law received an honorable mention for the Colin B. Picker Prize, awarded by the American Society of Comparative Law. She is also a member of the P.R.C. bar. Zhiyu is currently engaged in a project that describes and accounts for the diffusion of judicial innovation in Chinese courts. To elucidate the lawmaking function of the Chinese judiciary, she employs both qualitative methods, such as doctrinal analysis, case studies, and interviews, and quantitative methods, such as traditional surveys, and survey experiments. The fruits of this inquiry should be of interest to researchers who are seeking a theoretical understanding of the development of Chinese law and to practitioners who are trying to predict legal and regulatory trends in China.

Earlier Event: April 30
Asia Law Weekly: Charles Booth
Later Event: September 5
Asia Law Weekly: Hugh Scogin